The ‘War on Meat’ isn’t real, but small Iowa farmers have long faced an uphill battle against Big Ag


By Zoe Pharo and Paul Brennan, Little Village (IA) 

Oct 7, 2021


For most Americans, the 2021 War on Meat was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in conservative culture-war politics, the kind typically sparked by a red Starbucks cup or the marketing of a slightly more gender-neutral Barbie doll or Mr. Potato Head.


By the time Fox News announced on April 23 that a War on Meat was on — the Biden administration, Fox anchors warned, was planning to limit Americans’ red meat intake to four pounds a year, a bogus claim they lifted from a British tabloid — Iowans were already veterans.


But Iowa’s war had nothing to do with the phony meat quota or even President Biden. It sprung from a cloud of feigned outrage over Jared Polis, the Democratic governor of Colorado, daring to declare March 20, 2021 “MeatOut Day.”


The nonbinding resolution was the sort that designates a statewide Monarch Butterfly Week or Enjoy Ice Cream Month. But MeatOut Day, an effort to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet, outraged the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and state Republicans. They declared March 20 “Meat Producers Appreciation Day” instead.


That’s how things might have stayed — except Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts decided to weigh in. The GOP governor proclaimed March 20 to be “Meat on the Menu Day” in Nebraska.


Gov. Kim Reynolds was a little slower to launch a counteroffensive against the Colorado MeatOut menace, but she went bigger than Ricketts. On March 19, Reynolds issued her own proclamation, declaring April to be “Meat on the Table Month” and calling upon Iowans to purchase pork and beef products to show support for farmers.


Reynolds also saw a chance to raise some campaign cash, and she fired off a fundraising email that warned, “Democrats and liberal special interest groups are trying to cancel our meat industry.”


The solution? Send the governor’s reelection campaign some money...


... Less carbon, smaller feeding bills for farmers, content grass-fed animals, healthier soil, more nutritious meat — managed grazing seems to be an overall win. Why invent a war on meat when you can unite the nation around sustainable farming?


The answer is depressingly simple: Big Ag’s big money...


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